PFC Litex Lovech

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Litex Lovech
logo
Full name Professional football club Litex Lovech
Nickname(s) The Oranges
Short name Litex
Founded 1921; 95 years ago (1921)
as Hisarya Sports Club
Ground Lovech Stadium,
Lovech
Ground Capacity 8,100
Manager Zhivko Zhelev
League V Group
2015–16 A Group, Expelled
Website Club home page

PFC Litex Lovech (Bulgarian: ПФК Литекс Ловеч) or simply Litex (Bulgarian: Литекс) is a Bulgarian football club from the town of Lovech. The club was founded in 1921 as Hisarya Football Club.

The club's home ground is the Lovech Stadium, which has a capacity of 8100 seats, electric floodlights and permission to stage European matches. Litex had won the championship four times and the Bulgarian Cup four times. Together with CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia, Litex was the third Bulgarian football club that represented the country in the European Club Association.

History

1921–1996

The club was founded in 1921 as Hisarya and began playing league football during 1923. Over the years, the club has changed its name several times. From 1957 named Karpachev, before becoming Osam in 1979. Under that name the club played constantly in the B Group, the second division of Bulgarian football and was close to promotion several times. A notable star during this period was Plamen Linkov who broke the club's appearance record, playing 575 times, scoring 167 goals.

In 1990 sponsor of the team become a company LEX. In the same year, the club had changed its name to LEX Football Club. The 1993–94 season was successful for LEX, which finished 1st in second division and qualified for the A Group for first time in the club's history. The first season in the A Group was a success for the club, finishing 11th. The next season was not successful and the club, renamed Lovech, was relegated to the B Group.

Litex goalscorer Dimcho Belyakov.

Grisha Ganchev era (1996–2015)

In June 1996, the club was purchased by the petrol businessman and citizen of Lovech Grisha Ganchev and it was renamed to Litex. The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high-profile players. Ferario Spasov was named as the new Litex coach. He led the club back to the A PFG at the first attempt. During the 1996–97 season Litex also reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Cup and the final of the Bulgarian League Cup, which was lost after a penalty shoot-out.

Litex with the Bulgarian Cup in 2009.

In 1997, Litex was promoted for the second time to the top division and immediately became Bulgarian champions, finishing the season 5 points ahead of the second-placed Levski Sofia. This was unprecedented in Bulgarian football history. The striker of the team Dimcho Belyakov became top goalscorer with his 21 goals scored during the season. The midfielder Stoycho Stoilov received the Best League Player award. The club's first participation in the European club tournaments was also promising, with Litex eliminating the Swedish Halmstads BK (2-0 and 1-2) and reaching the second qualifying round (but being knocked out by Russian powerhouse Spartak Moscow).

A year later Litex retained their league title, losing only two league games all season. They became the first provincial club to win back-to-back league titles since the 1920s. During the campaign Litex inflicted the biggest defeat of CSKA Sofia's whole history, beating them 8-0 at Lovech Stadium.

In the recent years, Litex has won the Bulgarian Cup four times, in 2001 (a 1-0 win against Velbazhd Kyustendil after extra time), in 2004 (a win over CSKA after a 2-2 in the regular time and a penalty shoot-out), in 2008 a win over Cherno More Varna (1-0)[1] and in 2009 against Pirin Blagoevgrad (3-0 in the regular time).[2] In early August 2007, Litex signed a three-year sponsorship and advertising contract with Bulgarian mobile operator GLOBUL and started the 2007–08 season with the logo of the mobile service i-mode on the team's kits. In December 2007, Litex became the first Bulgarian club to have branded a mobile phone game, Litex Football. Before the start of the 2008–09 season, Litex lost the Bulgarian Supercup final with 0-1 from CSKA Sofia. The winning goal for the army team was scored by Kiril Kotev in the 65th minute. After a season later, Litex again lost the Bulgarian Supercup 0-1 against the champions Levski Sofia.

Litex with the A PFG title in 2010.

In 2009–10 season Litex became a champion of Bulgaria for the third time in its history, finishing with 12 points more than the second, CSKA Sofia.[3] On 12 August 2010, Litex defeated Beroe 2–1 to win the Bulgarian Supercup, for the first time in the club's history. In 2010–11 Litex achieved a 4th league title, securing the championship with a 3–1 away win against Lokomotiv Sofia on 21 May 2011.[4]

Relegation and Merging (2015-)

In the summer of 2015, Grisha Ganchev stepped down from his position as an owner, only to relocate his investments in the capital to CSKA Sofia, which had been financially struggling recently. As a result of the change, his son Danail took over the club.

On December 16, 2015, Litex Lovech was removed from A PFG.[5] Litex players were forced off the pitch by sporting manager Stoycho Stoilov during the 12th December tie with Levski Sofia, during which Litex had 2 players sent off despite a 1-0 lead.[6] On January 20, 2016 the team was officially relegated to B Group for the 2016-17 season. The team will complete its participation in the Bulgarian Cup and the players could finish the 2015-16 season in PFC Litex Lovech II who participate in B Group.

Currently, the club faces legal uncertainty. Businessman Grisha Ganchev merged Chavdar Etropole and Litex Lovech, subsequently renaming the entity in CSKA, which gained the Bulgarian Football Union's approval to compete in the new A Professional Group. [7]

On 4 July 2016 Zhivko Zhelev was appointed as manager and the team would start the new season from V Group, the third tier of Bulgarian football, participating with academy players.[8]

League positions

Bulgarian V AFG Bulgarian A Football Group Bulgarian B Football Group Bulgarian A Football Group Bulgarian B Football Group Bulgarian V AFG Bulgarian B Football Group

Recent league statistics

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts Bulgarian Cup
2007–08 A Group 4 16 9 5 51 26 56 Winner
2008–09 A Group 4 17 7 6 53 26 58 Winner
2009–10 A Group 1 22 4 4 59 17 70 Third round
2010–11 A Group 1 23 6 1 56 13 75 Semifinals
2011–12 A Group 5 17 8 5 57 28 59 Semifinals
2012–13 A Group 5 15 5 10 56 24 50 Quarterfinals
2013–14 A Group 3 21 9 8 74 37 72 Quarterfinals
2014–15 A Group 4 16 6 10 49 36 54 Quarterfinals
2015–16 A Group 10 0 (8) 0 (9) 0 (3) 0 (29) 0 (19) 0 (33) Semifinals*
2016–17 V Group (III) TBD
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Stadium

Lovech Stadium
Main article: Lovech Stadium

Litex Lovech's home ground is the Lovech Stadium, a football stadium in Lovech. Built in 1962, the ground underwent a total reconstruction in 1999 and was brought to a suitable standard to host international matches in 1999. The stadium has more than 8000 seating places with pitch dimensions of 105 x 68 metres. The record attendance is 12,500 for the game against Levski Sofia on 19 April 1998. The record attendance in the European club competitions was achieved against Aston Villa on 18 September 2008, when around 8,000 spectators supported the team.

In the summer of 2010, a massive reconstruction of the venue was started, new side sectors with roof covers were built and the media sectors were expanded in order to meet the UEFA guidelines for Champions League matches. On 12 July 2010, the stadium officially received from UEFA a 3-star rating. The reconstructions continued in the summer of 2011. New covered stands and media boxes were built.

Honours

National competitions

A Group:

Bulgarian Cup:

Bulgarian League Cup:

  • Runners-up (1): 1997

Bulgarian Supercup:

European: UEFA Cup / Europa League:

European record

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League 4 16 8 1 7 29 28 + 1
UEFA Europa League 13 56 23 12 21 76 60 + 16
Total 17 72 31 13 28 105 88 + 17

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
No. Position Player
For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2015 and Transfers winter 2015–16.
For reserve team players, see Litex Lovech II.

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Foreign players

Up to five non-EU nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the A PFG, however only three can be used during a match day. Those non-EU nationals with European ancestry can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry he can claim Bulgarian citizenship after playing in Bulgaria for 5 years.

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Notable players

The following players included were either playing for their respective national teams or left good impression among the fans.

Note: For a complete list of Litex Lovech players, see Category:PFC Litex Lovech players.

Managerial history

For more details on this topic, see List of PFC Litex Lovech managers.

This is a list of the recent Litex Lovech managers:

Name From To Honours
Bulgaria Stoycho Mladenov June 2004 Nov 2004
Israel Itzhak Shum Nov 15, 2004 May 2005
Serbia Ljupko Petrović July 1, 2005 June 12, 2007 1 Bulgarian Cup
Bulgaria Ferario Spasov June 2007 Nov 2007
Serbia Miodrag Ješić Nov 2007 May 2008 1 Bulgarian Cup
Bulgaria Stanimir Stoilov June 1, 2008 Aug 28, 2009 1 Bulgarian Cup
Bulgaria Angel Chervenkov Sept 1, 2009 Aug 5, 2010 1 Bulgarian A PFG
Bulgaria Petko Petkov (interim) Aug 5, 2010 Sept 1, 2010 1 Bulgarian Supercup
Bulgaria Lyuboslav Penev Sept 2, 2010 Oct 24, 2011 1 Bulgarian A PFG
Bulgaria Atanas Dzhambazki Oct 24, 2011 Dec 31, 2011
Bulgaria Hristo Stoichkov Jan 5, 2012 June 5, 2013
Bulgaria Zlatomir Zagorčić July 1, 2013 March 31, 2014
Serbia Miodrag Ješić March 31, 2014 May 25, 2014
Bulgaria Krasimir Balakov May 26, 2014 July 10, 2015
Serbia Ljupko Petrović (interim) July 10, 2015 August 5, 2015
Romania Laurențiu Reghecampf August 6, 2015[9] December 3, 2015
Serbia Ljupko Petrović December 3, 2015 January 3, 2016
Bulgaria Lyuboslav Penev January 22, 2016 June 2, 2016
Bulgaria Zhivko Zhelev July 4, 2016

Notable stats

Plamen Linkov, the club's top scorer

Most appearances for the club

Rank Name Apps
1 Bulgaria Plamen Linkov 575
2 Serbia Nebojša Jelenković 307
3 Bulgaria Vitomir Vutov 245
4 Bulgaria Zhivko Zhelev 225
5 Bulgaria Nikolay Dimitrov 210

Most goals for the club

Rank Name Goals
1 Bulgaria Plamen Linkov 167
2 Bulgaria Stefan Yurukov 84
3 Bulgaria Svetoslav Todorov 70
4 Bulgaria Hristo Yovov 54
5 Bulgaria Dimcho Belyakov 48

Bulgarian league top scorer with the club

Year Name Goals
1999 Bulgaria Dimcho Belyakov 21
2000 Bulgaria Svetoslav Todorov 19
2006 Slovenia Milivoje Novakovič 16
2010 France Wilfried Niflore 19
2014 Colombia Wilmar Jordán 20

Notes:

  • Bold signals active players
  • Correct as of 2010-05-16

All-time top scorers in A PFG

  • Bold signals active players
  • Correct as of December 13, 2014[10]
Rank Name Games played Goals scored Assists Goals per game Years played
1 Bulgaria Svetoslav Todorov 127 56 22 0.44 1997–01, 2009–12
2 Bulgaria Stefan Yurukov 113 55 11 0.49 1996–97, 1998–02, 2003–04
3 Bulgaria Hristo Yovov 97 45 20 0.46 2000–04
4 France Wilfried Niflore 72 39 11 0.54 2008–11
5 Bulgaria Dimtcho Beliakov 67 35 11 0.52 1994–97, 1998–99, 2004
6 Bulgaria Zhivko Zhelev 194 31 7 0.16 1996–07
7 Colombia Wilmar Jordán 54 29 7 0.54 2013–15
8 Bulgaria Zoran Janković 64 29 17 0.45 2000–02, 2004, 2007–08
9 Bulgaria Georgi Milanov 106 28 20 0.26 2009–13
10 Bulgaria Krum Bibishkov 60 27 6 0.45 2007–09

References

  1. ^ "Litex claim third Bulgarian Cup". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Stoilov guides Litex to cup glory". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  3. ^ "Litex can party like it is 1999". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Litex retain Bulgarian crown". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  5. ^ "Litex thrown out of Bulgarian league". BBC. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Bulgarian champions may quit league". BBC. Retrieved 2015-12-16. 
  7. ^ Filipov, Georgi. "ЦСКА на три кита". capital.bg (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Литекс сформира нов отбор, назначи треньор
  9. ^ "Reghecampf becomes Litex's third coach this season". Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Ваюши и Десподов от Литекс влязоха в историята Football24.bg, August 13, 2013

External links

Official websites
Supporters website
Information and statistics